01 April 2014

Books, Postcards, a Proposal and Tahilla Farm



I was going to write to you today about my recent trip to Taipei where I met the most interesting woman, travelled through time and fell in love with an age old practice...but that will have to wait.

I have this eensy weensy habit of getting so excited about something...that I have to act right away.  When someone says to wait, give it a few days, mull it over...it's agony, my brain starts to spasm and my body follows suit. Apply that to blogging and you have a potential train wreck.

I learned long ago that when the blog spirit moves you, it is best to go with it. Trying to stay on topic when your mind is going down another path is like someone telling you not to dance when your body is aching to move to the rhythm of the beat. Ok, enough analogies...I am getting too excited.

Because now is now..and this thought may be gone tomorrow.


I AM READING A WONDERFUL BOOK! There, I said it.





here

I am loving... Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I learned the unexpected joy of a green thumb and an open heart by Carol Wall. It is Carol's first book and I am so enthralled, I had to write, because I know many of you will enjoy it too.

Carol "had me" in the Prologue..

"It was kismet. Love at first sight. Not, it wasn't the kind of love that causes you to question your marriage. It was the kind of love that causes you to question yourself. The kind that makes you want to be a better person. The kind that changes your life completely.

His name was Giles Owita, and from the start, something flowered between us and around us. First be became my gardener, and then he became my friend. And while I knew from that moment I met him that he was someone special-truly, I didn't know the half of it."

I am going to leave the rest to you before I gush profusely...you can read all about this thoughtful and poetic story here

What I love about this book is that it came at the suggestion of a reader who I have never met but feel like I know well. So, I am writing this post as a thank you to Jennifer from Bendigo, Australia for making this wonderful suggestion to me and for another book she has recommended Little Daughter: A memoir of Survival in Burma and the West by Zoya Phan.


LETTERS AND LOVE AND A MEETING IN PARIS

In the wings...from blogging buddy, Lisa in Vermont,  That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay. I love anything Lisa recommends, especially as she is the one who found Tahilla Farm for us. She has impecable taste! (story here)

here

A synopsis...

When Eve Petworth writes to Jackson Cooper to praise a scene in one of his books, they discover a mutual love of cookery and food. Their friendship blossoms against the backdrop of Jackson's colourful, but ultimately unsatisfying, love-life and Eve's tense relationship with her soon-to-be married daughter. As each of them offers, form behind the veils of semi-anonymity and distance, wise and increasingly affectionate counsel to the other, they both begin to confront their problems and plan a celebratory meeting in Paris-- a meeting that Eve fears can never happen.

I am looking forward to getting stuck into this book, if you would like to do the same...read here



6 WEEKS.. 36 DAYS..TO TAHILLA FARM

Summer at Tahilla Farm

My feet are literally doing a tap dance under my desk as I think about the count down to returning to Tahilla Farm in the mountains of New Hampshire. I have from early May through mid-September to get cracking on construction plans and enjoy country life. I was especially excited to receive the photo below from tree man extraordinaire, Swift Corwin ( story here). He went along to check out the one mile trail he created for us on our property..one I have yet to walk. The sleepy brook that I meandered across last summer is in full throttle as the winter snows melt and carries on to places unknown. I can't wait to put my wellies on and slush around in the mud. Really and truly!



Winter at Tahilla Farm...with thanks to Swift Corwin



POSTCARD UPDATE

I picked up the postcard below in Taipei last weekend..and am writing away, to send one off to those of you who requested a postcard. I hope you don't mind that some will come from Taipei by way of Vietnam. I am catching up on the requests and will be sure to drop you a line once I pop your postcard in the mail. I would love to hear from you once you receive it...I just love that part! 

If you would still like to get in on the postcard fun, write to me at jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com or leave a comment. We will connect one way or another!




LASTLY...A SURPRISE PROPOSAL

We received exciting news this week. My goddaughter, Miss Meghan, is engaged to be married. A friend secretly snapped this photo as the big event occurred. Can you guess which moment this is? So sweet!

I love that this all took place in Rockport, Massachusetts, a place that has woven itself through the hearts of my family for generations ( story here). There is no questions that the luck of the Irish is with Meghan and Dan. We are all so excited for them!




I will leave you here..with thanks once again for your comments 
and emails surrounding the search for Tom (story here). 
You touched my heart..and I believe his as well. 

Before you go, do tell..
What are you reading now?
Do you have any books to recommend?
We would love to know!


Jeanne xx

31 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful postings as always I shall ask for the book Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening you recommended. Everyone has recommended the book The Goldfinch to me by Donna Tartt and if you have not read the book The Shoemakers Wife http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13127599-the-shoemaker-s-wife
    I really enjoyed it. Beautiful blessings. Rabbit Rabbit may April bless us well. Jeanne Rabbit Rabbit
    ….(\˛/) │(\,/)
    ....( . .)│(. . )
    ...σ('')('') ('')('')σ...✿
    \ĺ⁄¸.♥•.¸¸.•♥.¸\ĺ/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27ugSKW4-QQ

    Happy April Fool's day
    Giggles

    Love Jeanne

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    1. Thank you Jeanne! I have read The Goldfinch and can vouch for it being a great 'page turner'. Many thanks for The Shoemaker's Wife..I have added it to The Brown Paper Book Club above. Jeanne xx
      PS..Heavy spaghetti crop..HYSTERICAL! ;)

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  2. Hi, Jeanne
    Love that you have chosen a postcard with a bird on it.
    I just finished reading "An Officer and a Spy" by Robert Harris. "Paris 1895 ... the story of the infamous Dreyfus Affair told as a chillingly dark, hard-edged novel of conspiracy and espionage .... brings to life the scandal that mesmerized the world at the turn of the twentieth century." Now when I hear the term Dreyfus Affair, I feel that I will surely know what it is all about. It takes a few pages to really get into it, primarily because of the long list of "Dramatis Personae" and to set the scene, but then you can't put it down. It has received excellent reviews.
    The pictures of Tahilla Farm are beautiful. By the time you get there, I'm sure things will be well thawed out and green in all their glory. What a lucky person you are to have such a retreat to go to.

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    1. Hi Judy...thanks for the tip, I am sure we have the book on our shelf somewhere. I will have a look for it. I have also added it to The Brown Paper Book Club at the top of this page. That postcard has your name on it.. ;) xx

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  3. You must be so looking forward to Tahilla Farm! It looks like a beautiful spot with lush greenery and spectacular scenery. Thank you for the book ideas, the first one sounds right up my alley!

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    1. I think you are right Leslie..I thought of you while reading it. Have the tissue at hand, it will be well worth it. xx

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  4. I'm on it will buy the gardening book for SURE!
    YOUR GOD DAUGHTER………….how exciting and what a WONDERFUL photo for them to have!GOOD JOB DEAR FRIEND OF THE engaged couple!!!
    Your farm is as EXCITED as YOU are to see YOU!How wonderful to have this anticipation!
    Did you get my postcard yet???
    XXX

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    1. Hi Elizabeth...have not received your PC yet but things do take time here. I will be sure to let you know when it arrives. HAPPY WEEKEND! xx

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  5. I'm in the middle of a very good string of books which I blog about at First Paragraphs on blogspot.

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    1. Hi Marielle...so enjoyed your blog and your concept for first papragraphs. What a great idea! Thank you for stopping by...;)

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  6. Jeanne, this entire blog post brought me a big dose of happiness. First, I love your book suggestions and also the fact that your readers suggested them. The blog world can connect us to so many wonderful people and great ideas. And the photo of the rushing stream at your farm in New Hampshire. What an adventure you will have there! And the proposal. So precious! Thanks for starting my day with a big smile!
    xx Sunday

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    1. Your very welcome Sunday...sending you best wishes for a HAPPY WEEKEND! xx

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  7. I love this post, Jeanne! I'm so excited that you'll be back in the States and working on your wonderful home! The engagement picture is simply charming! Put those wellies on and slush away!

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    1. I plan to do just that Melissa...thank you! HAPPY WEEKEND! xx

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  8. Oh no!! Two more books I Have To Read. You are a devil!
    I know you're incredibly excited to be back in New Hampshire and cannot wait to follow your progress as you create you dream home. Makes me smile just to think about it.
    xo

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    1. Thank you Pamela...a little something is coming you way..hint, hint..Wonderland. ;) xx

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  9. I will definitely buy those two books. I can't wait to read them. I just finished reading "The Fault In Our Stars." It's a beautiful love story too. Then now, I'm reading "Paris Letters." It must be exciting to go see Tahilla Farm soon. Congratulations to ypur god daughter Meghan. All the best to them.

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    1. Thank you Pamela, both you and Edgar recommended "The Fault in Our Stars", I have added it to The Brown Paper Book Club. I will add "Paris Letters" too..it sounds interesting.. xx

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  10. I just finished "Beautiful Ruins" and it was so good that I wanted to turn around and read a second time right then and there!

    This was such a lovely, lovely post. I am sending a huge virtual flock of doves to Meghan and Dan to say "Congratulations!"

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    1. Thank you Heather! So glad you mentioned "Beautiful Ruins", I have yet to read it and it is the first book I go to when I am selecting a gift. I keep hearing great things about it. A definite for the Tahilla nightstand. xx

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  11. I've pinned both books to my Want to Read board on Pinterest. The gardening book is one I would have given to my mother, who was an avid gardener. Suspect I'll wipe away a tear or two as I read it. . .
    I'm just finishing the last book on my various course reading lists, thus freeing myself to read for my own pleasure rather than my students' edification! Can't wait to tackle a few that I have piled up. . . Recently, though, I enjoyed discovering Claire Messud through her somewhat disturbing The Woman Upstairs -- such good writing!

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    1. Thank you M! I added it to The Brown Paper Book Club, looks good! It must be hard deciding which book to start with first after a long course reading list. Enjoy! ;)

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  12. I love how you are able to discuss so many subjects in one blog post and tie them all together. And, yest, I agree if you are excited about something you just have to write about it. It cannot wait for another day. i know the feeling exactly.

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    1. I thought you would Loree..now if only I could manage my life as I do my blog posts! ;)

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  13. With a name like Purple Flowers, I will definately find time to read the gardening book. Sounds exciting.
    True love takes flight - so nice.

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  14. You have many good news Jeanne. Congratulations to the engaged couple.

    for books, try: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ( sad love story), A Tale of the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki ( 2 parallel stories that seem biographical) and Beautiful Ruins (suggested by Heather)

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    1. Thank you Edgar, you are the second person to recommend "The Fault in Our Stars", I have added it along with your others to The Brown Paper Book Club. Thank you!

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  15. Thank you so much Jeanne. I am so, so pleased you liked it and I never expected to be mentioned in one of your posts. I feel as though we have been friends for a long time - despite not meeting. Last time we wrote comments to each other I think you mentioned Alex Miller to me as a suggestion. Strangely I had not read his work at all but within weeks of that mention, I had the privilege of meeting him here in Bendigo - I had no idea that he lived at Castlemaine and so is basically local. Since then I have read Coal Creek and enjoyed it. Now that it is school holidays here, I intend to read more. Just as soon as I finish Ebward Rutherfurd's Paris.
    Thank you again, Jennifer

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  16. Hello Jeanne

    Glad to see you are looking forward to being at Tahilla Farm. The image of Swift's Trail is beautiful also in winter. I have added Mr. Owita's Guide to Gardening to my list. I seem to have less time to read during Fall and Winter. My time is taken up with art shows and art related work. I just received in the mail "The Cost of Living by Mavis Gallant. This is a recommendation by one of my very favourite bloggers. If you are not already following him, I think you like his writing. He is spot on when it comes to book and movie recommendations. http://asuperdilettante.blogspot.com/
    Have a fabulous weekend
    Helen xx

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  17. I've just been reading your stories of Tahilla Farm after being away from blog reading for awhile. You are living the dream as far as I can see. I grew up in Northern Virginia amid rolling green hills and historic farms, and I just love the landscape...You may already know his writing given your time in the UK, but just in case I wanted to recommend one of my favorite (among multiple other genres) garden writers, Beverly Nichols. His "Allways Trilogy" is so sweet and funny. Begin with the first one, Down the Garden Path. Cheers!

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. Just a few words or a few paragraphs, no matter. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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